Poor gut health and digestion can affect your whole body. When digestive issues arise, pain and discomfort can cause you to lose focus and may interrupt your day. Improve your health and digestion by eating the right foods.
Move Your Bile
Made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, bile helps with digestion by breaking down fats into fatty acids which can be taken into the body by the digestive tract. These foods will keep bile moving, thus keeping you regular and consistent.
- Chia Seeds & Flax Seeds
These seeds contain essential fatty acids that lubricate the intestinal wall while nourishing the microbes that support intestinal health and function. High fiber foods create bulk that puts pressure on the intestinal wall, resulting in an urge to move bowels. They also carry bile out of the body, which signals the liver to produce more bile.
- Raw Beets & Apples
Both of these are high in fiber and ideal for healthy digestion. Mix freshly grated raw beets and apples sprinkled with lemon juice for a tasty and quick snack.
- Green, Leafy Vegetables
These are high in fiber and magnesium, both of which support healthy muscular contractions (peristalsis) in the large intestine.
Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes provide bulk and improve bile flow for healthy digestion.
Aside from being high in fiber, the skin of prunes contains dihydrophenylisatin, which is a mild laxative that boosts intestinal contractions.
Move Your Lymph
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and plays an important role in the immune system. A high concentration of lymphatic vessels can be found in the lining of the intestines. The villi and lacteals within and the lymph nodes surrounding the outside of the intestines constitute about 70-80% of the body’s immune system.
Because the lymph circulates throughout the body and removes cellular waste, body movements (ex. stretching, exercise) and proper hydration are recommended to keep your lymphatic system healthy.
- Eat Red
Antioxidants are great for the lymphatic system. Foods that would dye your hands red are great lymph movers (ex. berries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, beets).
- Green, Leafy Vegetables
Highly alkaline foods, including spring and summer harvests, support lymphatic drainage. The winter harvest is primarily acidic, which is nature’s way of rebuilding.
Fennel is known for stimulating and moving lymph. You can add fennel to your meals or enjoy tea made from fennel seeds. As a tea, it is effective for gas and bloating, and supports the function of intestinal lacteals (which help absorb nutrients and fats).
Feed Your Microbiome
- Seasonal Organic Foods
Plants attract certain microbes from the soil which become a part of our microbiome when we eat them. Organic produce provides a significantly greater source of microbes, thus, choosing seasonal, organic foods will better support bodily functions.
- Fermented Foods
Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, and miso are great microbial sources. Fermented foods are made from a process called lacto-acid fermentation, which makes them very acidic. In general, they should be eaten in moderation.
Cleanse Your Liver
- Bitter Roots
Before, dandelion root, burdock root, Oregon grape, and golden seal (among others) were a standard part of the American diet. These days, these liver-cleansing and bile-moving staples are lacking in availability and consumption. If you cannot dig these up or purchase them fresh, you can get them in capsule form. However, always choose an organic, whole herbal root form rather than an herbal extract, as most of the good microbes are killed during the extraction process.
- Other liver-cleansing & bile-stimulating foods:
Boost Stomach Acid
Once we have addressed the aforementioned aspects of healthy digestion, we can increase the stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid (HCl):
- Chew fresh, raw ginger root or drink ginger tea before and during a meal.
- Vinegar is acetic acid, which boosts HCl (Apple cider vinegar works even better because it is safe for high acid conditions).
- Drink a large glass of water a half hour before a meal to pre-hydrate the stomach’s natural buffer layer, signaling the stomach to produce more HCl. Adding a little salt and pepper to your water will also help.
- A fermented food appetizer will help to kick-start the digestive process.
- Sip hot water with lemon before or during your meal.
- Spice your foods with fennel, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cardamom.
Stop by the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona for a delicious breakfast or yummy lunch. Take it to go or enjoy your meal in our dining area or patio seating. Call 909-596-5225 or visit BrickMarketDeli.com to order now!